Synopsis by Mark Deming
Salvador Allende was the president of Chile from 1970 to 1973. An avowed Marxist, Allende believed that Western capitalism had done far more harm than good to his nation, and in response he helped to found Chile's socialist party. In 1970, he ran for president on a platform which, in part, called for the nationalization of most of Chile's industrial and financial operations. Despite a fierce campaign against him (managed in part by United States intelligence forces), Allende won the election and made good on his pledges. While Allende was popular with his constituency, he and his agenda of democratic socialism were seen as a threat by the United States, and Henry Kissinger said of his election, "I don't see why we need to stand by and watch a country go communist because of the irresponsibility of its own people." In 1973, a coup d'etat backed by the United States toppled Allende's leadership, and the former president soon committed suicide. General Augusto Pinochet rose to power in the wake of the coup, leading to a 17-year reign of terror marked by torture and political executions. Salvador Allende is a documentary which looks at the political career of the fallen leader, exploring both his rise to the presidency and the forces that collaborated to remove him from office against the will of the people. Former United States ambassador to Chile Edward Korry is among those interviewed about the American role in Allende's fall.
Chile, coup, election, execution, fall [downfall], intervention, Marxism, President, reign-of-terror, Socialism, suicide, threat, torture, US-government